Sunday, February 23, 2014


Hello and Goodbye!  

For those of you that don't know - Alex Fulton Design has a brand new home over at here

It's really pretty and really really fun so please come over and join the colour party!

To all of you who have supported me over the past years 
I send you my heart-felt thanks.  Love ya's!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Update: Yes, I know it's well overdue!

Well.  There's been a world of happenings here at AFD HQ.

They are as follows:

Re-branding of AFD and new website/blog 
This is been a 6 month undertaking but I'm nearly there.  
I have been 'finding myself' left right and centre and making myself a new look.  I have a fabulous team helping me with all this and all should be revealed  in the next few weeks.  
That does mean that the blog will have a new home as well as a new look and I will be able to put into place many of the new things I learnt from my recent Blogcademy Course I attended last month.

Blogcademy (Auckland)
Holy.  What a information-fest.  For those of you not in the know this is a blog school run by three pretty dynamic birds - Gala, Shauna and Kat from Gala Darling, Nubbly Twiglet and Rock n Roll Bride respectively.  A powerhouse of blogging talent they certainly passed on oodles of info.  It was also an amazing weekend connecting with some pretty awesome bloggers from all over this country.  So the timing has been pretty good for this new branding lark and most defiantly inspirational - especially Shauna.  She was a wealth of knowledge and has got me lining up many ducks.  Watch this space (well maybe not this space as a NEW blog will be up and running in the new year).  Yip!

Megan Morton's The School (Auckland)
Yes, another trip, and another hot weekend of learning, meeting amazing people and generally just mixing with like minded slashies (and Australianism for a person that does much and many - Thanks Megan for this term, is tres useful!)  I think I won most attended course but I wanted to make the most of it all - only because I knew that it would ALL be good.  I also got to hang with my new design assistance (YES I JUST SAID THAT).  More in a sec.  I did want to say a heart felt massive yummy thank you to Megan Morton, Sophie The, Kara Rosenlund, Simone Madigan, Stephanie Somebody and Brooke Holm.  Find more about them here.  They all rock the planet.  I learnt all and much.

Sophie Jensen (My Design Assistant)
I know right!  This is very exciting and a little scary if I'm honest.  Oh the responsibilty - not just myself to think of!  Sophie came to me back in June this year as an Intern - she emailed and asked to come and work for me for free.  She drove all the way down here to Blenheim and found accommodation all off her own initiative.  She was a wee ray of sunshine to have in my world and I was very lucky to share that week with her.  NOW she's back as my employee and I have big plans for this little lady.  I'm hoping to bring you a bigger and brighter world of me with Sophie's help.  She is super enthusiastic, colourful and smilie, oh and did I mention talented, crafty and designery?!  She will fit in oh so well!

Dulux Ambassador
Yes it's true!  Starting with my wee stint as a guest judge on the Block NZ this year, Dulux contacted me and asked if I would consider a role as their interior design ambassador.  Ahhhh OK!  Dream role!  Colour, colour and more colour!  My first official role was to help launch the 2014 Dulux forecast which I will post in detail (to follow).  What an honour!  I got to speak to designers and specifiers all over NZ and talk about the new colours that are coming through in interiors.  It really was fun to be apart of.  Next year things will continue and there is going to be some amazing collaborations.

Home Rennovations
Yes as well as working with many inspiring projects this year I am undertaking my own interior change.  Currently we are re-doing a very old and tired ensuite and making it a bathroom that joins our two daughter's rooms.  I've already sneaked/peaked you into a little of what's happening via my instagram feed (here) #afdgirlsbathroom.  It's very excited but has started some huge 'builders creep'. BUSY!

General stuff
Because of my new Sophie coming I got very excited - even to the point of considering moving to a real live retail space.  This was ambitious on my part, I think I just got a bit excited my the thought of having an extra set of hands BUT what it did do was to help me work out what I need to do next.  A retail space is a great idea and maybe for the future but right now I got some other i's to dot.  All in good time.  You will notice (soon) that there is an AFD store link on my new site and that will be coming in 2014.  Baby steps but still exceptionally exciting.  So I've been organising and re-jigging my current studio space to make room for Sophie and to be able to accommodate more crafting, DIYing, creating and stock.  Hooray! 

The last thing
I really wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy new year.  Instead of stressing myself silly about posting over the holidays - I'm just going to not.  I do have one more post about Dulux but that will be the last for my good friend Blogger.  I will also post a link here for the new blog site so please come and join me on my new adventures.  I love you guys and what started as a journal of me and what I love has morphed into something quite unexpected.  As corny as it sounds, I really could not have done this without you lot.  You make a massive difference and I appreciate you being there (I know you are!)

See you in 2014.  All colourful-like.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Good Prods: Karen Walker Homewares

Oh Karen Walker, you sneaky sausage.  You do no wrong.

I see you and your new homewares range.  I see it and I like it, which is no surprise really as I love most things you do.  

Thank you in advance for my christmas present. 
To me, from me.

For more in her homewares range go see online here 
or at The Department Store in Auckland

Monday, October 21, 2013

10 Tips and Tricks: Pinterest

Hands up who is out there pinning up a storm.  Me.
Both mine are up.

Pinterest is such a niffy tool that I could not imagine life without it.  
For those of you that don't know, Pinterest serves as a kind of visual 'wishlist'.

Let me break it down for you - prepare for 'bunnyears' abound.

To set up a Pinterest account you ask to be 'invited'
Once setup you can create 'boards'
Users or 'Pinners' can 'pin' images to boards that they organise under their user name
Pinners can pin straight from the interweb, from your own snaps, or from others pinners pins.  
Pinny pin pin.
It's actually really easy pease.  Just start.  You won't stop.  I tried.

Image from here

What MAY help you are some of my tricks and tips that I have learnt along the way to make 'pinning' easy and to max out it's potiental.

1.  Start by calling it it's proper name.  It's Pinterest.  As in Pin-ter-est.  NOT Pininterest. PININTEREST.  PININTEREST.  Sound it out stoopid.  Just Pin-ter-est.  Touchy much?

and breathe

image from here

2.  Good, now set up boards.  Some pinners have found snazzy ways to be cool with making boards name look tripster but I kinda missed that memo and just called things as I see them.  Some use capitals (eg: YUMMYINMYTUMMY - which is kind of shouty but hey - your board), some use symbols (eg:  //Kitchens//) some just state the obvious.  Whatever you do, make sure that you fill your boards with good images that reflect the name of the board.  It can also be highly responsible to have a good spring clean out now and then - that board you called 'Stain removal' and has only one pin in it with a tip of how to cat vomit may need to go (or not - your board - not mine).

Image from here and taken by Kirsty Gibson

3. Let you boards be reflective of you.  Especially if you are linking yourself with a blog, a business or a brand then consider your boards to be an extention of that.  Think about what your readers or consummers would like to see, but utimately pin for yourself as that will tell a far intimate story.  

Image from here

4.  You can choose to follow a fellow pinner (and all their boards) or you can choose just a few select boards from that pinner.  You may find your new pinner 'friend' from sweden has immpeciable taste in homewares but also a fasination with exposed body parts.  Hey, that's cool man, but somethings can be un-follwed no worries.  Sorry Hedwig but I'm unfollowing 'Mighty Manslem's'.

Image from here

5.  Download the 'pin it' button onto your desktop.  That way you can pin images you see while eyeballing the web.  Now you don't have to try and manage web pages - just store them in the pinning boards you have created.  If there is an image that's not worthy of a board then just 'like' with the heart button.  Your Pinterest will remember those and you can refer back to them anytime you choose under 'likes'.

Image from here

6.  Get the app and pin from your phone.  A good and easy way to load a photo ready for a good viral thrashing. You can also view your pin 'stream' when bored and have 5 minutes to spare on the toilet.  
I would love to know those stats.

Image from here

7.  Link, name, and put in as much information as you can.  I always try and think of the clever photographer that took the image.  Let's share the love and link link link.  Credit everything to the original source where poss and try and be a good, safe and thoughtful pinner.  That's good pin-karma.

Image from here

8. Be interactive with your pins.  You can change the setting of a board to have other pinners be 'contributors'.  No Hedwig, not this time.  You can also interact with fellow pinners just like in istagram and twitter just by adding the '@' symbol.  Nice.

Image from here

9.  Finding different pins and pinners.  You don't have to rely on the people you follow to give you inspiration - broaden your horizon by looking at your favourite pinners and who they follow.  Same applies for your pins - quite often if I find a pin I really like I will keep scrolling downwards and it will show you 'like-minded' pins.  It's a rabbit hole so do try to remember to come up for some real air from time to time.  As much as we love time on the net, don't forget the real world exsists too!

Image from here

10.  Shhhhhh, secret!  Use the secret boards to design a new logo,  plan a surprise party or imagine your special day when you are not even engaged.  I also use these with clients so that we can share ideas without worrying that others may be watching.  You ony get 5 of these so use them for current stuff.

I'm sure there is more but that will keep you pinning for a while longer!

You can find me here on Pinterest under user name alexfultondes
All the images I have shared are all from my boards - so yeah, go look and pin.

If you have a tip or trick for Pinterest please share!  
That would pin-tastc (too much?  too much.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Giveaway: NZ Interior Style Book by LeeAnn Yare and Larnie Nicolson

** We have a winner - Crisanna Nel - congrats and thanks again for all your amazing comments!  I think I will have to do a special post just about them! **

You know that book I mentioned last week?  

Well...thanks to Penguin books,  I have one to giveaway.

NZ Interior Style written bu LeeAnn Yare and photographs by Larnie Nicolson.
You can buy it here

As this book is filled with tips and tricks for making a house a home I thought you could tell me your favourite design trick, either comment here on the blog or on the facebook.

*If the tips are tops, there will be a runner-up prize, so get entering*

I'll start you off with one of mine from the book:
"The best budget idea in our home is garlands, it's party on a string!  They add instant colour, fun and a sense of playfulness."

Sick of seeing my house much?!  BUT check that party on a string.

I will draw it randomly this friday the 11th October 2013, so good luck and get sharing!  Shares will get an extra name in the hat.  Go you design buns.

Images by Larnie Nicolson

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Attending: New Zealand Interior Style Book Launch, The Bloc, Auckland

If you are connected to any sort of interior design blog or social media you will have noticed that there is a new book in town.

It's not just any book.  It's a uniquely New Zealand Interior design based coffee table book that is superbly photographed by Larnie Nicolson and handsomly written by LeeAnn Yare.

This dynamic duo have been writting and snapping interiors for years and are on high rotate in most of the NZ shelters mag so it's no surprise that they have extended this successful formula into the book world.

Stylie peeps getting their book on at BLOC

Love this gal - Ju from Studio Home Blog.  Love this shop - Collected by LeeAnn Yare

They have handpicked 24 homes that are based all over NZ and certainly capture the creativity, design and uniquely kiwi interior flavours of this wonderful country.

I can also proudly tell you that I was luckly enough to be chosen to be one of the houses and it's quite the wee thill to see your home in glossy big pages.  An even bigger surprise was being featured on the back of the book - the cover went to LeeAnn's own house so I'm in good company.

Speaking of excellent company - some of my favourite homes included are by my colour design sister Anya Brighouse, the urban funked-out pad of the Federation couple Nick and Jenny Clegg, Wellington style queen and owner of Small Acorns Amanda Holland and furniture rad couple Stu and Melissa Bowman from Apartmento/Meluka.

The stunning home of the Bowmans of the Apartmento/Meluka fame

My skinny bathroom and white hallway

Dining in the dark (Walls painted in Dulux Piha) and kitchen

Jeff (my husband) and I also got to go to the launch up in Auckland at BLOC.  It was a fantastic night - catching up with old faces and meeting lots of new ones.  It was an absolute  treat! 

Showing off the back of the book - the girls surprised me on the night  with my  'Jungle Room ' on the reverse.
Oh and look at Larnie looking all hot in front of the camera

With my gals Ses and Jen Style Files
Wanna win this book?  I'll post on Monday on how you can...

Thanks again LeeAnn and Larnie.

Friday, September 6, 2013

This and that plus a design tip.

Happy Friday!  Not a normal day of posting but it has not been a normal week.

I apologise for being awol with posts, but you only turn 40 once and I certainly have been doing it large.  It's been such an amazing week and I have been showered with well wishes, parties, love and pressies!  I don't know what I was dreading!  

I'm also heading away on Sunday for some well deserved city action in.... New York!  
It will be a heady mix of work, play and instagramming.  Any last minute tips?
Sooooooo there will no posts until 23rd Sept.  You can keep up with my design finds via facebook or my instagram feed.  

Also - can I say another HUGE thank you for the suggestions and feedback about the blog.  There is much change in the air for AFD and it really has helped cement some ideas that have been brewing.  YOU have all made what's about to happen possible, so I just want again say thanks.

Oh and another thing - make sure you check out the latest Your Home and Garden.  There is a ditty from me about 'Directional Design' - don't worry I had to google that too.

Cover shot by Ken Downie

Forgot to ask - anyone watching The Block NZ?  Need to talk about that too when I get back...

In the meanwhile I wanted to leave you with a design tip.  

Images from Wood and Wool Stool and the rug is from Bobo Chases

Put a rug on a wall.  Nothing new but what a great alternative to traditional framed art.  It's nice and big (depending on the rug of course) and you get the bonus of it being textural and something a bit diff.  And we all love a bit of diff.

See you all soon.  Excitement is abound.